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It is a top of the line flash that can be used either on-camera via the hot shoe mount or wirelessly as a remote light source.

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Pros

well thought out gel labeling - allows for easy adjustment of camera white balance

1 agrees

upgradable firmware

1 agrees

multi-step auto zoom - covers between a 17 and 200mm angle of view, up from 24-105mm on the SB-800

1 agrees

flash head can rotate 360 degrees

1 agrees

automatically calculates the angle of view for both FX and DX cameras (saves battery power for DX users)

1 agrees

built-in thermostat with visual indicator - automatically shuts off when it becomes too hot, lets you know when it's getting close

1 agrees

much improved UI

1 agrees

easily set, automatic flash light patterns (tightly focused, slightly focused or wide/even)

1 agrees

fast recycling, 50-90% improvement over the SB-800 - 1 second with the SD-9, 2-3 seconds with NiMH batteries

1 agrees
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Cons

no longer supports D-TTL or Film TTL - can't be used automatically with older digital or film cameras

1 agrees

large size - largest flash Nikon has produced to date

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Edit

 

The Nikon SB-900 AF Speedlight is a top of the line flash that can be used either on-camera via the hot shoe mount or wirelessly as a remote light source. Up to three other compatible Nikon Speedlights can be wirelessly controlled by or control the SB-900 as well for a quadruple light configuration that you can set up in any way possible. Select either master or remote and one of the four channels on each Speedlight and they will fire automatically when the picture is taken. Three illumination patterns can be selected using the large LCD display on the back which include standard, center-weighted and even depending on the lighting conditions and the flash may be tilted on it's swivel axis up and down from 7 to 90 degrees and horizontally 180 degrees left to right. Soft travel case is included with zipper storage compartment along with a plastic color transfusion dome and color filter set, both of which offer creative lighting options. A thermal cut-out switch has been included which will stop the flash from operating if it gets too hot, although it should be noted that in high use professional situations like wedding photography a flash will naturally get hot and is built to withstand high temperatures. Pro users find extended use for such events by adding an optional high performance battery pack.

Features
  • Multi-step auto zoom covers wide 17-200mm zoom range (24-105mm:SB-800)
  • Three illumination patterns (standard, center-weighted and even) are available to match each shooting environment
  • Automatically detects Nikon FX and Nikon DX formats and selects suitable light distribution
  • Improved booster circuit for high-speed recycle time: Recycle time using four AA-size batteries is almost equal to the SB-800 with five AA-size batteries
  • New AF-Assist illumination covers a wide 20-105 mm focal range compatible with the new Multi-CAM3500 FX/DX AF sensor
  • Firmware update via Nikon D3 and D700 is possible (world's first*)
  • Thermal Cut-out function limits the number of flashes to avoid deterioration of light emitting parts caused by continuous flash firing
  • Automatically detects color filters (fluorescent or incandescent), enabling camera to control color temperature according to filter information from SB-900
  • Optional Water Guard WG-AS1 (for D3), WG-AS2 (for D300), and WG-AS3 (for D700) is useful for protecting the camera's hot shoe contact when the SB-900 is mounted on these Nikon digital SLR cameras

Specifications

  • Electronic construction: Automatic Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT) and series circuitry
  • Guide number: 34m/111.5ft. (at ISO 100, 35mm zoom head position, in FX format, standard illumination pattern, 20°C/68°F) to 48m/157.5ft. (at ISO 200, 35mm zoom head position, in FX format, standard illumination pattern, 20°C/68°F)
  • Illumination pattern: Three illumination patterns: standard, even and centre-weighted The light distribution angle is automatically adjusted to the camera’s image area in both FX and DX formats
  • Flash shooting distance range: 0.6 m to 20 m (2 to 66 ft) (varies depending on camera image area setting, illumination pattern, ISO sensitivity, zoom position and lens aperture)
  • Flash mode: TTL, Auto Aperture flash, Non-TTL auto flash, Distance-priority manual flash, Manual flash, Repeating flash
  • Other functions: Test firing, monitor pre-flashes, AF-assist illuminator and Modeling illuminator
  • Multiple flash operation: Advanced Wireless Lighting, SU-4 type wireless multiple flash
  • Compatible cameras: All cameras compatible with Nikon Creative Lighting System (other cameras can be used but functionality is reduced)
  • Flash exposure control set on the camera: Camera’s sync modes: Slow-sync, Red-eye reduction in slow-sync, Rear-curtain sync, Rear-curtain slow-sync
  • Shooting functions: Auto FP High-Speed sync, FV Lock flash
  • Bounce capability: Flash head tilts down to -7° or up to 90° with click-stops at -7°, 0°, 45°, 60°, 75°, 90° Flash head rotates horizontally 180° to the left and right with click-stops at 0°, 30°, 60°, 90°, 120°, 150°, 180°
  • ON/OFF: Press the Power ON-OFF switch to turn the SB-900 on or off Standby function can be set
  • Ready light: The SB-900 is fully recycled: Rear ready-light lights up and front light blinks Insufficient light for correct exposure (in i-TTL, Auto Aperture flash, Non-TTL Auto flash or Distance-priority manual flash operations): ready-lights and front lights blink after shooting
  • Flash duration: Approx. 1/880 sec. at full output
  • Mounting foot lock lever: Provides secure attachment of SB-900 to camera’s accessory shoe using locking plate and mount pin to prevent accidental detachment.
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): Approx. 78.0 x 146.0 x 118.5 mm (3.0 x 5.7 x 4.7 in.)
  • Weight (without batteries): Approx. 415 g (14.6 oz.)
  • Optional accessories: Color Filter Set SJ-3, Water Guard WG-AS1/WG-AS2/WG-AS3, High-Performance Battery Pack SD-9, Wireless Slave Flash Controller SU-4, TTL Remote Cord SC-28/SC-29
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